It turns out that 758,000 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not have photo identification cards from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. They will need to get another acceptable form of identification if they want to vote in the November election.
We can already feel the gnashing of teeth from opponents of the state's new voter ID law claiming this is proof of how badly the law's boosters want to suppress voting in the upcoming presidential election. We think it proves just the opposite. It proves the law is necessary to protect the integrity of voting.
Not a lot is being asked here. Have a driver's license ID at the ready when you go vote. Failing that, show a nondriver PennDOT photo ID, easily attainable by going to driver's license center. Failing that, show a U.S. passport, student identification card with an expiration date, current military identification or ID cards issued to government employees.
Any of those forms of ID are a free pass to vote in the election. And we suspect if a person couldn't produce any of those forms of identification they also would have a tough time getting on an airplane if they walked up to a ticket counter or even purchasing something in some cases.
All voters without a PennDOT ID are being sent letters notifying them of the new voter ID law this summer, listing the types of ID that can be used to vote in November and how to obtain suitable ID if needed.
Clearly, if someone wants to vote in November they aren't being inhibited from doing so by this law. And obtaining some type of identification might help them in other circumstances.
Let's stop making this a political football and consider the overdue practicality of the law.
We want everyone eligible to vote to do so this November and all others in the future. But we want the integrity of that vote protected.